MIAMI — There's a giant inflatable helmet that the Hurricanes are supposed to run through before every game, a long-standing tradition.
Work crews couldn't get it pumped up Thursday night, but that was the closest thing Miami had to a major problem in its Dolphin Stadium debut.
Graig Cooper had a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown and rushed for another score, quarterback Jacory Harris accounted for two touchdowns filling in for Robert Marve and Miami moved into its new home with a 52-7 win over Charleston Southern.
"We wanted to come out and give a great show for the fans, and I think we did some great things on defense and some good things on offense," Miami linebacker Glenn Cook said. "But there's still some things we can work on."
Javarris James rushed 12 times for 73 yards and a touchdown and the Hurricanes had a 21-point first quarter, their highest-scoring quarter since Sept. 9, 2006, against Florida A&M. Derron Thomas and Shawnbrey McNeal also had touchdown runs for Miami, which outgained its outmatched I-AA opponent 416-126.
Up next: the Hurricanes visit No. 5 Florida on Sept. 6.
"It's a big ballgame for this team and for South Florida and an opportunity for us to go up there and play a great opponent," Miami coach Randy Shannon said. "They've got a tremendous offense, tremendous defense and we feel great for the chance to go up there and play such a great team."
Tribble Reese threw for 81 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown to Tyrese Harris for Charleston Southern.
Jacory Harris was 16-for-26 for 190 yards for the Hurricanes, who didn't score more than 37 in any game last season and eclipsed that with ease Thursday — albeit against an opponent with two winning seasons in its history.
"I put my teammates in positions that they could make plays, not me," Harris said. "I learned if I could give the ball to my teammates, everything will be okay. I don't need to be the one going out there making spectacular plays."
Harris, a freshman, had his 16 completions go to 11 players. Shannon has said that Marve, the redshirt freshman and former Plant High standout who was suspended for one game, will start against the Gators.
"It felt like we had a junior or senior out there playing quarterback," James said. "He played good."
The Hurricanes ended a seven-decade stay at the Orange Bowl last season, and moved north to the Dolphins' homefield, replete with modern amenities such as luxury suites, gargantuan video screens and the potential for new revenue for the private school's coffers each year.
Miami's "U" logo shielded the entrance to the tunnels plus adorned the sidelines, and Hurricanes flags flew along the outside of the facility.
The opener drew 48,119, with 47 busloads of Miami students making the 16½-mile trip north from the Coral Gables campus.
"Seemed like a packed crowd to me," Shannon said.